Frankly speaking, anyone would have stayed
hidden after stealing glances at knowledge,
yet I chose to throw my dice headlong into
Adam’s soil. The half-truth is I wanted my texture
of good oak to be seen, wanted the gaslighting
to end the way it started. It took me twice
the years of childhood to prove this biology
to my brothers. When it comes to violence,
I have seen firsthand hands that burrow deep
into mine to convey fear rather than embrace.
The first time I rechecked my pronouns
to consider why words like ‘nigga’ + ‘gay’ from
history books and the internet were considered
deviant, I got an incision. The point is authenticity
can be your grace and damnation. Daily,
I try to see beyond each clenched fist. I offer love
the size of a mustard seed, and doubt comes
crashing its weight on my back. I mean,
how many persons have asked why I still give
money for free despite knowing those
Who profiled me will continue to do so?
Besides the point, who hasn’t known kindness?
Who still builds a fortress on betrayal?
I still love my people, still walk the black sand
of my country discussing politics, architecture,
business, and Nigerian delicacies, still do
what people do with all their hair, their fears,
how they drop them on the floor, renounce
the white scabs, now I say many things with joy
to a boy who says, ‘I love you’ without shelving my tongue.